What did prehistoric people eat? Researchers reconstruct Neolithic culinary traditions

Scientists have refined the diet of prehistoric humans living in Britain. We now know more about the culinary traditions of the Neolithic.

A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has uncovered new information about the diet of the people of what is now Britain. They found traces of cereals, including wheat, cooked in pots.

In an article published in Nature communications, the team explains that they have found very well preserved ancient pottery in the waters surrounding small artificial islands, called crannogs, in Scotland. Chemical analysis of the interiors of these pots has revealed traces of grains being cooked and mixed with dairy products and sometimes meat, probably to create some kind of gruel or stew.

They also found that people living (at times) in these crannogs used small pans to cook cereal with milk and larger pans for meat dishes.

It is therefore already more than 6000 years that the cereal culture exists in Great Britain, it is also at this time that the pottery was introduced in this region. Until now, the oldest traces of cereals were millet and dated back to 4000 years ago.

This research opens up a window about the culinary traditions of early farmers living in the northwestern tip of Europe, whose ways of life are little understood. This gives us a first glimpse of the types of practices associated with these enigmatic islet locations., Explain in a communicated Lucy JE Cramp, co-author of the study and archaeologist from the University of Bristol.

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